NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT ON UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

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1 NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT ON UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION Council of Australian Governments An agreement between the Commonwealth of Australia and the States and Territories, being: New South Wales Victoria Queensland Western Australia South Australia Tasmania the Australian Capital Territory the Northern Territory This Agreement supports Universal Access to and improved participation by children in quality early childhood education in the year before full-time school, with a focus on vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

2 National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGR E E M E N T ON FEDERAL FINANCIAL R E L A T I O N S PRELIMINARIES 1. This National Partnership Agreement (the Agreement) is subject to the provisions of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations (IGA FFR) and should be read in conjunction with that Agreement and its Schedules, which provide information in relation to performance reporting and payment arrangements under the IGA FFR. 2. In entering this Agreement, the Commonwealth and the States and Territories (the Parties) recognise that they have a mutual interest in improving outcomes in early childhood education and need to work together to achieve those outcomes. 3. Under the previous National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education, the Parties committed to ensuring that by 30 June 2013 every child has access to a quality early childhood education program in the 12 months before full-time schooling for 15 hours per week, 40 weeks per year, delivered by a 4 year degree qualified early childhood teacher. The Parties agreed that the early childhood education program would be delivered in a manner that met the needs of parents and working families and ensured that cost did not present a barrier to access (especially for Indigenous and disadvantaged children, including remote Indigenous children), including through innovative means such as via the internet for children in remote areas. 4. This Agreement is a further step towards achieving the National Early Childhood Development SŗŕńŗňŊŜ řōŗōœő ŗŋńŗ Ưby 2020, all children have the best start in life to create a better future for themselves and for the nationǯ and builds on the significant progress towards this vision made under the previous National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education. This vision, endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), is also supported by the National Partnership Agreements on the National Quality Agenda for Early Childhood Education and Care and on Indigenous Early Childhood Development. 5. The Parties are committed to maintaining Universal Access to quality early childhood education program(s) for all children in the year before full-time school for 600 hours per year, delivered by a degree qualified early childhood teacher who meets the National Quality Framework requirements with a focus on participation by vulnerable and disadvantaged children. The Parties recognise that participation in quality early childhood education programs is especially important for vulnerable and disadvantaged children in improving their life-long social inclusion, educational outcomes and economic participation. The Parties 2

3 recognise that children who are vulnerable can be found across all socio-economic groups, as evident in Australian Early Development Index data. 6. The Parties recognise that achieving the policy objectives and outcomes of this Agreement will assiŗŗ Ōő ŌŐœŕŒřŌőŊ ņŋōŏňŕňőǯŗ ŒŘŗņŒŐňŖ ńőň ŗŋňōŕ ŗŕńőŗōŗōœő ŗœ ŖņŋŒŒŏ. Engagement with quality early childhood education programs before full-time schooling contributes to ņŋōŏňŕňőǯŗ ňńŕŏŝ ŏňńŕőōőŋƣ ŖŒņŌńŏŌŖńŗŌŒő ńőň ŇňřňŏŒœŐňőŗ ńőň ŋńŗ ŏœőŋňŕ ŗňŕő ŅňőňʼnŌŗŖ ʼnor children, families and society through increased participation, economic productivity and social inclusion. 7. Commonwealth funding under this Agreement or elements of this Agreement is anticipated to ŋńřň ńő ŌŐœńņŗ Œő ņŋōŏňŕňőǯŗ œńŕŗōņōœńŗōœő in quality early childhood education programs in the year before full time schooling in such a way that further funding beyond the term of this Agreement may be required if those levels are to be maintained and improved. 8. This Agreement will be implemented consistently with the objectives and outcomes of all National Agreements and National Partnerships agreed by the Parties, under the broad policy framework of the National Early Childhood Development Strategy. The Parties are committed to addressing the issue of social inclusion, including responding to Indigenous disadvantage (for example, the reform commitments provided in the National Indigenous Reform Agreement) and those commitments are embodied in the objectives and outcomes of this Agreement. 9. This Agreement will also be implemented consistently with the key objectives of the National Disability Strategy , as agreed by COAG in 2011, which seeks to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation, and create a more inclusive society. The Parties are committed to supporting the vision of the Strategy for an inclusive Australian society that enables people with disability to fulfil their potential as equal citizens, and its aims, which include driving improved performance of mainstream services in delivering outcomes for people with disability. PART 1 FORMALITIES Parties to this Agreement 10. This Agreement is between the Commonwealth of Australia (the Commonwealth) and the States and Territories (the States). Term of the Agreement 11. This Agreement will commence as soon as the Commonwealth and one other Party sign the Agreement, and will expire on 30 June 2015, or on completion of the project, including the acceptance of final performance reporting and processing of final payments against performance benchmarks or project milestones. Funding under the Agreement covers service delivery from 1 July 2013 to 31 DňņňŐŅňŕ 2014Ƣ ņœőŗōŗŗňőŗ ŚŌŗŋ ŗŋň COAGǯŖ ńŋŕňňőňőŗ Œʼn 19 April 2013 that funding for this Agreement is intended to ensure service delivery is not interrupted or reduced in 2013 or The Agreement may be terminated earlier or extended as agreed in writing by the Parties. 3

4 PART 2 OBJECTIVES, OUTCOMES AND OUTPUTS Objectives 12. The Parties reaffirm their commitment to maintain Universal Access to quality early childhood education program(s), with a focus on improved participation of vulnerable and disadvantaged children, and in a manner that meets the needs of children, parents and communities and ensures that cost is not a barrier to participation. 13. Children living in remote Indigenous communities remain a focus for Universal Access with an ongoing commitment to ensure that every Indigenous four year old in a remote community has access to a quality early childhood education program. Outcomes 14. This Agreement will contribute to continuing the reforms under the National Partnership on Early Childhood Education and facilitate ņŋōŏňŕňőǯŗ ňńŕŏŝ ŏňńŕőōőŋ ńőň ŇňřňŏŒœŐňőŗ ńőň transition to school, through maintaining Universal Access to and improving participation in affordable, quality early childhood education program(s), including that: (a) (b) (c) vulnerable and disadvantaged children have access to and participate in an affordable, quality early childhood education program; Indigenous children have access to and participate in an affordable, quality early childhood education program; and the achievement of the Closing the Gap target is maintained, to ensure access to early childhood education for all Indigenous four year olds in remote communities. Outputs 15. The objectives and outcomes of this Agreement will be achieved by: (a) (b) (c) implementing accessible quality early childhood education programs which meet the needs of parents and communities at a cost which does not present a barrier to participation, particularly for vulnerable and disadvantaged children; delivering strategies and actions targeting the participation of vulnerable and disadvantaged children; and delivering strategies and actions targeting the participation of Indigenous children, including in remote areas. PART 3 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF EACH PARTY 16. To realise the objectives and commitments in this Agreement, each Party has specific roles and responsibilities, as outlined below. Role of the Commonwealth 17. The Commonwealth agrees to be accountable for the following roles and responsibilities: (a) providing a financial contribution to assist the States to maintain Universal Access and achieve the agreed performance benchmarks; 4

5 (b) (c) (d) monitoring and assessing the performance in the delivery of services under this Agreement; compiling and publishing the annual National Report as set out in clause 28; and coordinating the development of Implementation Plans in partnership with the States. Role of the States and Territories 18. The States agree to be accountable for the following roles and responsibilities: (a) (b) (c) (d) developing Implementation Plans in partnership with the Commonwealth, including strategies to support access and participation by vulnerable and disadvantaged children; delivering on outcomes and outputs agreed in the State Implementation Plan; reporting on the delivery of outcomes and outputs as set out in Part 4 Performance Monitoring and Reporting; and implementing quality early childhood education programs. Shared roles and responsibilities 19. The Commonwealth and the States share the following roles and responsibilities: (a) participating in consultations between the Parties as appropriate regarding the implementation of this Agreement; (b) removing barriers to participation in an early education program, including ensuring cost is not a barrier (especially for vulnerable and disadvantaged children, including those in remote locations) and provision is in a form that meets the needs of families under this agreement; (c) negotiating new or revised Schedules, including Implementation Plans, to this Agreement; (d) conducting the review of this Agreement; (e) continuing to collaborate on data development and collection to improve transparency and reporting of outputs and outcomes on early childhood education; (f) agreeing a definition of vulnerable and disadvantaged children for monitoring purposes in Implementation Plans; and collaborating to develop a nationally agreed definition of vulnerable and disadvantaged children over time; and (g) further developing, implementing and reporting Agreement performance in line with the Early Childhood Education and Care National Minimum Data Set. 20. The Parties will meet the requirements of Schedule E, Clause 26 of the IGA FFR by ensuring that prior agreement is reached on the nature and content of any events, announcements, promotional material or publicity relating to activities under an Implementation Plan, and that the roles of both Parties will be acknowledged and recognised appropriately. Implementation Plans 21. The Commonwealth and the States will agree Implementation Plans that will set out each ōřŕōŗňōņŗōœőǯŗ ŖŗŕńŗňŊŜ ʼnŒŕ ŐńŌőŗńŌőŌőŊ UőŌřersal Access to 31 December 2014 and delivering on 5

6 the outcomes and outputs set out in Part 2 Objectives, Outcomes and Outputs of the Agreement, including: (a) attendance performance benchmarks for 2013 and 2014; (b) (c) (d) (e) details of priorities and strategies to facilitate participation by vulnerable and disadvantaged children in early childhood education programs (including current strategies), as well as to address critical gaps in support; demonstrating how these strategies will address the issue of cost as a potential barrier to participation by vulnerable and disadvantaged children; strategies to maintain the Closing the Gap target of ensuring access to early childhood education for all Indigenous four years olds in remote communities; and other state-based collections or data sources which, as agreed with the Commonwealth in Implementation Plans, may be required to supplement the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection (National Collection), pending further data development. 22. Following the release of the National Collection data each year, Implementation Plans will be reviewed. Where a State is on track to meet its Performance Benchmarks the review would likely confirm that the Implementation Plan remains acceptable and that no amendments are required. Where a State is not on track to meet its performance benchmarks its Implementation Plan may require amendment to ensure that its strategies are adequate to achieve its Performance Benchmarks. PART 4 PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND REPORTING 23. Achievement of the objectives and outcomes in this Agreement will be informed with reference to the performance indicators detailed in Table 1: Outcomes, Outputs, Performance Indicators and Performance Benchmarks. Schedule A: Monitoring and Reporting details the collection methodology, definitions and disaggregation required for monitoring of this agreement. Data Collection 24. The annual National Collection is the primary data source for matters under this Agreement and for the measurement of achievement of benchmarks and monitoring of progress under this Agreement. 25. State based collections or data may be used to supplement the National Collection where it is agreed with the Commonwealth prior to the publication of the National Collection each year and for the purposes of reporting between collections and in the Progress Report. In addition, States may provide contextual information to aid interpretation should they wish to do so. 26. The Parties agree to work towards refining the National Collection (while maintaining comparability across collections for the purposes of tracking progress over time) to make it the sole data source for the measurement of achievement of benchmarks and monitoring of progress by the end of this Agreement. 6

7 Table 1: Outcomes, Outputs, Performance Indicators and Performance Benchmarks Outcomes Outputs Performance Indicators Performance Benchmarks/Targets Maintaining Universal Access to and improving participation in affordable, quality early childhood education program(s), including that: 95 per cent* i. vulnerable and disadvantaged children have access to and participate in an affordable, quality early childhood education program. Implementing accessible, quality early childhood education programs which meet the needs of parents and communities at a cost which does not present a barrier to participation, particularly for vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Teacher Qualifications 1. The proportion of early childhood education programs delivered by a degree qualified early childhood teacher who meets the National Quality Framework requirements. Access to Quality Program 95 per cent of children including: 2. The proportion of children enrolled 95 per cent of Indigenous Delivering strategies and actions in the year before full-time school in children; and targeting the participation of ii. Indigenous children have access quality early childhood education 95 per cent of vulnerable and vulnerable and disadvantaged to, and participate in an program(s). disadvantaged children. children. affordable, quality early Program Availability 95 per cent of enrolled children childhood education program. Delivering strategies and actions 3. The proportion of enrolled children, including: targeting the participation of iii. the achievement of the Closing enrolled in the year before full-time 95 per cent of Indigenous Indigenous children, including in the Gap target is maintained, to school in quality early childhood children; and remote areas. ensure access to early childhood education program(s) available for per cent of vulnerable and education for all Indigenous four year olds in remote hours per year. Attendance disadvantaged children. Annual targets agreed in communities. 4. The proportion of enrolled children Implementation Plans taking into who attend, in the year before full account a jurisdiction's starting time school, quality early childhood point and moving to 90 per cent education program(s) available for 600 over time. hours per year. * Includes service waivers with respect to early childhood teachers under the National Quality Framework 7

8 Performance Milestones 27. SŘŅōňņŗ ŗœ ŗŋň CŒŐŐŒőŚňńŏŗŋǯŖ ńŋŕňňőňőŗ ŗŋńŗ ńņŋōňřňőňőŗ Œʼn ŐŌŏňŖŗŒőňŖ ńőň œňŕʼnœŕőńőņň benchmarks is demonstrated through the National Collection ńőň Ōő ňńņŋ SŗńŗňŖǯ Progress Report, payments will be made to each State in accordance with Table 2 below. Table 2: Project deliverables and payments Report Due Deliverable date May In-advance project payment in recognition of the costs of 2013 service delivery July 2013 Tŋň CŒŐŐŒőŚňńŏŗŋ ŋńŗ ŕňņňōřňň ńőň ńņņňœŗňň ŗŋň SŗńŗňǯŖ Implementation Plan 1 July 2013 SŘŅōňņŗ ŗœ ŗŋň ŖŗńŗňǯŖ ŌŐœŏňŐňőŗńŗŌŒő œŏńő ŋńřōőŋ Ņňňő accepted: OR The State has met performance benchmarks for 2012 for teacher qualifications, access to quality program and program availability; and the State has provided evidence that is acceptable to the Commonwealth that it is on track for delivery of the Universal Access commitment by 30 June 2013, as agreed under the previous National Partnership on Early Childhood Education. If a State does not meet performance benchmarks for 2012 for teacher qualifications, access to quality program and program availability performance benchmarks for 2012 or does not provide evidence acceptable to the Commonwealth that it is on track for delivery of the Universal Access commitment by 30 June 2013, as agreed under the previous National Partnership on Early Childhood Education by 30 June 2013, however it o demonstrates improvement from the 2011 performance benchmarks*, and o commits to action agreed with the Commonwealth, including specifying in its Implementation Plan detailed strategies of how it will be taken. 20 The Commonwealth has received and ńņņňœŗňň ŗŋň SŗńŗňǯŖ December Progress Report, including addressing whether service 2013 provision has been maintained throughout Funding State allocation for as per Table per cent 40 per cent 20 per cent 30 per cent. 30 March Where a State has not received its full annual allocation of Remaining 2014 funding for , the remaining proportion of proportion performance-based funding is payable, in , where (if required) the Commonwealth agrees that the State has 8

9 Report Due Deliverable Funding date demonstrated it has met performance benchmarks for teacher qualifications, access to quality program and program availability following the release of the 2013 National Collection, including evidence of achievement of the Universal Access commitment of the National Partnership on Early Childhood Education (see clause 24) July 2014 Following release of National Collection data in the previous financial year, review of Implementation Plan: 20 December 2014 o agreement that no change is required; or o acceptance of revised Implementation Plan. The State meets performance benchmarks for teacher qualifications, access to quality program and program availability identified in Table 1 of the Agreement. OR If a State does not meet performance benchmarks for teacher qualifications, access to quality program and program availability, identified in Table 1 of the Agreement, however it: o demonstrates improvement against results reported in the National Report in 2013 **, and o commits to action agreed with the Commonwealth, including specifying in its Implementation Plan detailed strategies of how it will be taken. Tŋň CŒŐŐŒőŚňńŏŗŋ ŋńŗ ŕňņňōřňň ńőň ńņņňœŗňň ŗŋň SŗńŗňǯŖ Progress Report, including addressing whether service provision has been maintained throughout the year. 30 per cent 40 per cent 20 per cent 30 per cent 30 March Where a State has not received its full annual allocation of Remaining 2015 funding for , the remaining proportion of performance-based funding is payable in the , where the Commonwealth agrees that the State has demonstrated it has met performance benchmarks for teacher qualifications, access to quality program and program availability following the release of the 2014 National Collection, including evidence of achievement of the Universal Access commitment of the National Partnership on Early Childhood Education (see clause 24). proportion (if required) * Where a State does not meet performance benchmarks for 2012 a State would need to demonstrate a minimum improvement of 50 per cent of the distance between performance benchmarks for 2011 and 2012 for teacher qualifications, access to quality program and program availability. ** Where a State does not meet performance benchmarks, identified in Table 1 of the Agreement, a State would need to demonstrate a minimum improvement against teacher qualifications, access to quality program and program availability benchmarks of 50 per cent of the distance between results reported in the National Report in 2013 and the performance benchmark. 9

10 Reporting arrangements 28. The Commonwealth will compile and publish an annual National Report summarising national and State achievement of performance benchmarks, using the National Collection and any supplementary information from individual States. Any supplementary information must be provided to the Commonwealth by 30 April 2014 and 2015, to enable any remaining allocation for the relevant financial year to be paid by 30 June. 29. Each State will provide a Progress Report by 20 December 2013 and 2014 setting out progress on their Implementation Plan, including any agreed targeted strategies, and any additional information on action concerning achievement of performance benchmarks or any other issues that have arisen. PART 5 FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS Financial contributions 30. The Commonwealth will provide a total financial contribution to the States of $655.6 million in respect of this Agreement. The estimated allocation by State is set out in Table 3. The funding allocation is calculated according to the proportion of the four year old population, using the 2011 Census estimate resident population of four year olds. 31. The Commonwealth will also invest $4.5 million for national early childhood data development, review and research activities. 32. Tŋň CŒŐŐŒőŚňńŏŗŋǯŖ ʼnŘőŇŌőŊ ņœőŗŕōņřŗōœő ŚŌŏŏ őœŗ Ņň ŕňňřņňň Śŋňŕň ŗŋň SŗńŗňŖ ŖňņŘŕň funding from other activity partners through innovative and collaborative partnerships. 33. Tŋň CŒŐŐŒőŚňńŏŗŋǯŖ contribution to the operation of this Agreement, including through National Partnership payments to the States paid in accordance with Schedule D Payment Arrangements of the IGA FFR, are shown in Table 3. All allocations are exclusive of GST. 10

11 Table 3: Estimated financial contributions by State 1 ($ million) Total New South Wales Victoria Queensland Western Australia South Australia Tasmania Australian Capital Territory Northern Territory National Partnership Payments to States and Territories National Pool Allocation (Commonwealth own-purpose expense) Total Note 1: Funding amounts are based on 100% per capita (4 year old ERP, 2011 Census). Amounts may not add up due to rounding. Project management risk 34. Having regard to the agreed Commonwealth contribution to projects specified in an Implementation Plan, States will not be required to pay a refund to the Commonwealth if the actual cost of a project is less than the contribution of the Commonwealth towards the project. Similarly, the States bear all responsibility for the costs of a project above the agreed Commonwealth contribution. The Parties acknowledge that this arrangement provides the maximum incentive for the States to deliver projects cost effectively and efficiently. PART 6 GOVERNANCE ARRANGEMENTS Enforceability of the Agreement 35. The Parties do not intend any of the provisions of this Agreement to be legally enforceable. HŒŚňřňŕƢ ŗŋńŗ ŇŒňŖ őœŗ ŏňŗŗňő ŗŋň PńŕŗŌňŖǯ ņœőőōŗőňőŗ ŗœ ŗŋōŗ AŊŕňňŐňnt. Review of the Agreement 36. In accordance with clause E23 of the IGA FFR, this Agreement is time limited. To assess the degree to which the agreed objectives and outcomes and/or outputs have been achieved, and inform decisions regarding the appropriate treatment following its expiry, a review of the Agreement will be scheduled to be completed by 30 June 2014 to enable a decision before the end of 2014 on service delivery and funding adequacy in This Agreement or elements of this Agreement is intended to provide funding to support the delivery of services to maintain Universal Access and improve participation in quality early childhood education programs. In reviewing this Agreement, the Parties should consider whether it has had an impact on both access to and participation in quality early childhood 11

12 education programs in such a way that further funding beyond the expiry of this Agreement may be required if those levels are to be maintained and improved. (a) As part of this process, the Parties should consider whether the overall objectives, outcomes and/or outputs of the Agreement have been achieved, including the maintenance of Universal Access nationally and by each jurisdiction; achievements in improving participation of Indigenous, vulnerable and disadvantaged children; the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery models by jurisdiction; funding allocations by the Commonwealth to each State; funding contributions by each jurisdiction, including the Commonwealth, and including commitments beyond the term of this Agreement; and possible funding arrangements following the expiry of this Agreement. 38. Subject to the outcomes of the review, if the Parties agree that further funding beyond the term of this Agreement may be required to maintain increased services, they will also consider this issue when framing their budgets, noting that the necessary policy and budget authority, including in relation to new policy reforms, are subject to the outcomes of budget processes at both the Commonwealth and State level. Variation of the Agreement 39. The Agreement may be amended at any time by agreement in writing by all the Parties. 40. A Party to the Agreement may terminate their participation in the Agreement at any time by notifying all the other Parties in writing. Delegations 41. The relevant Commonwealth Minister with portfolio responsibility for early childhood education is authorised to agree and amend Schedules, including Implementation Plans, to this Agreement and to certify that performance benchmarks specified under this Agreement have been achieved, so that payments may be made. 42. Respective State and Territory Ministers with portfolio responsibility for early childhood education are authorised to agree and amend Schedules, including Implementation Plans, to this Agreement. Dispute resolution 43. Any Party may give notice to other Parties of a dispute under this Agreement. 44. Officials of relevant Parties will attempt to resolve any dispute in the first instance. 45. If a dispute cannot be resolved by officials, it may be escalated to the relevant Ministers and if necessary, the relevant Ministerial Council. 46. If a dispute cannot be resolved by the relevant Ministers, it may be referred by a Party to COAG for consideration. Interpretation 47. For the purposes of this Agreement, unless otherwise specified, the following terms and definitions are used throughout this Agreement: 12

13 (a) Attendance: the number of hours that each child attends quality early childhood education program(s), as defined in the National Minimum Data Set. (b) Early childhood: the period from birth to age 8 years. The major policy focus for this Agreement will be children in the year before full-time schooling. (c) Enrolment: a child is on the roll for an early childhood education program, regardless of where that program is accessed. (d) Indigenous: people who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. (e) Participation: a child is enrolled and attending a quality early childhood education program. (f) Qualified early childhood teacher: a degree qualified early childhood teacher who meets the National Quality Framework requirements. (g) Quality early childhood education program: A program delivered in the year before fulltime schooling in a diversity of settings, including long day care centre based services, stand-alone preschools and preschools that are part of schools. The program is to provide structured, play-based early childhood education delivered in accordance with the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Standard and delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher. (h) Remote Indigenous communityƥ ń ņœőőřőōŗŝ ŗŋńŗ ŌŖ ņŏńŗŗōʼnōňň ńŗ ňōŗŋňŕ ƯŕňŐŒŗňǯ Œŕ ƯřňŕŜ ŕňőœŗňǯ ńņņœŕňōőŋ ŗœ ŗŋň AŘŖŗŕńŏŌńő BŘŕňńŘ Œʼn SŗńŗŌŖŗŌņŖ (ABS) ņŏńŗŗōʼnōņńŗōœő Œʼn ƯIőŇŌŊňőŒŘŖ LŒņńŗŌŒőǯƥ (i) 600 Hours: Can be delivered flexibly over the course of the year including through internet and mobile services for remote locations and can be a combination of different services for each child. (j) Universal Access: whereby every child, in the year before full time schooling, has access to quality early childhood education program(s) delivered for 600 hours in a form that meets the needs of children, parents and community; and at a cost that does not present a barrier to participation. (k) Vulnerable and disadvantaged children: as defined in each State and Territory in Implementation Plan and may include, but not limited to, children: from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds; with disability; at risk of being placed in child protection or already in the child protection system; in communities identified as having significant vulnerabilities under the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI); in low-socio economic communities; who are refugees or children of refugees at risk; and from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. 13

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23 SCHEDULE A: MONITORING AND REPORTING Monitoring is a key part of ensuring that governments are progressing on agreed outcomes and objectives within the specified timeframes. The following tables are a guide to inform the definitions and specifications of data for the measurement of progress against performance benchmarks and the range of monitoring information under this Agreement. Table A1 in this Schedule outlines the proposed specifications, agreed definitions and potential data developments that will be needed to measure achievement against each performance benchmark for the performance indicators detailed in Table 1 of this Agreement. Table A2 of this Schedule provides details of monitoring information which is to be maintained under this Agreement and was part of the NP ECE

24 Table A1: Performance indicators, proposed specifications, currently used definitions and data development needs Performance indicator 1. The proportion of early childhood education programs delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher. Proposed source of data and data specifications Source: National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection Numerator: The number of early childhood education programs with at least one qualified early childhood teacher who usually delivers an early childhood education program to children in the year before full-time school Denominator: The total number of early childhood education programs containing children in the year before full-time school. Computation: Numerator Denominator X 100 = Proportion Key Definitions: An early childhood education program is defined in the Interpretation section of this Agreement as a program delivered in a diversity of settings, including long day care centre based services, stand 2013 Early Childhood Education and Care National Minimum Data Set definitions and collection guidelines A preschool (early childhood education) program is defined as a structured, play based learning program, delivered by a degree qualified teacher aimed at children in the year or two before they commence full-time schooling, irrespective of the type of institution that provides it or whether it is government funded or privately provided. Information is collected on a range of service settings to capture both a strict Universal Access ŇňʼnŌőŌŗŌŒő Œʼn ń ƯœŕňŖņŋŒŒŏ œŕœŋŕńőǯƣ but also broader information on service activity. A person is defined as a teacher if they are 3 or 4 year degree-qualified (or equivalent) and usually deliver a preschool program in the reference week. Higher degrees and lower level qualifications are also collected. A qualification is measured by collection of the field in which each person has attained their highest ECEC-related qualification. Fields of teaching currently collected include Data development needs States and Territories have advised that considerable development would be required to ensure that teacher qualifications and the scoping of their collections are aligned with requirements of ACECQA descriptions for past and current qualifications. Additional development of data may be required to ensure consistency with Agreement definitions for an early childhood education program, including development of data on services operating with an early childhood teacher temporary waiver. Alternative data sources may include the National Workforce Census,the National Quality Agenda IT System and further data collected by States and Territories. 16

25 Performance indicator Proposed source of data and data specifications alone preschools and preschools that are part of schools. The program is to provide structured, play-based early childhood education delivered in accordance with the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Standard Early Childhood Education and Care National Minimum Data Set definitions and collection guidelines teaching (early childhood related), teaching (primary) and teaching (other e.g. special education). Data development needs A qualified early childhood teacher is defined in the Interpretation section of this Agreement. 2. The proportion of children enrolled in the year before full-time school in quality early childhood education program(s). This indicator will be disaggregated for: Indigenous children by state/ territory Indigenous children by remoteness areas (major cities, regional, remote and very remote) vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Source: For all children and Indigenous children: National Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Collection, ABS Estimated Resident Population and Experimental Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (latest) (using remoteness categories based A child is considered to be enrolled if they are present for at least one hour during the reference week, or have been absent in the reference week due to illness or holiday leave but are expected to return. Data on individual hours of enrolment in the reference week for each child is collected. Data on the number of weeks of service operation in the calendar year is also collected at the service level. Unique child counts rather than ƯňœŌŖŒŇň ŏňřňŏǯ ņœřőŗŗ ńŕň ŗŋň ŘőŌŗ Œʼn measure where available. Only 4 and 5 year old children are included in reporting on enrolments. Disadvantage is measured using the ABS SEIFA IRSD, with the lowest Data on the number of service operation weeks may be used to determine availability of an early childhood education program over the year. Additional data development may be required to ensure variable delivery patterns across the year are adequately represented. To collect and report national data on vulnerable and disadvantaged children requires development beyond the current measure of disadvantage using SEIFA IRSD, with jurisdictions to commit to data development as part of this Agreement, including agreement on: o national definition(s) 17

26 Performance indicator Proposed source of data and data specifications on the Accessibility/ Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) where applicable). For disadvantaged children: currently National ECEC Collection uses Socio- Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) Index of Relative Socio Economic Disadvantage (IRSD) measure of disadvantage. May require further review in development of national definition(s) Early Childhood Education and Care National Minimum Data Set definitions and collection guidelines quintile being used as a proxy for the most disadvantaged. Some jurisdictions use other measures of disadvantage such as possession of a Health Care Card. Data development needs o data sources o reporting (and by when). A particular focus of data development on vulnerable and disadvantaged children will be children with disability (in line with agreement under the National Disability Strategy to improve data). Disadvantaged and vulnerable children to be defined through Implementation Plans with a view to agreement on national definition over time. A definition of various disadvantaged and vulnerable groups is included in the Interpretation section to this Agreement. Pending further data development and national definition(s), in agreement with the Commonwealth, jurisdictions will be able to establish their own baseline and use data agreed in their Implementation Plans, as well as national data, to monitor progress for vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Numerator: 18

27 Performance indicator Proposed source of data and data specifications The number of children aged 4 and 5 years old as at 1 July of the collection year (for each selected population group), who are enrolled in a quality early childhood education program in the year before full-time school Early Childhood Education and Care National Minimum Data Set definitions and collection guidelines Data development needs Denominator: Estimated number of children aged 4 years old, as at 30 June of the collection year. Computation: Numerator Denominator X 100 = Proportion Key definitions: Enrolment is defined in the Interpretation section of this Agreement a child is enrolled if ŋň/ŗŋň ŌŖ Œő ŗŋň ƯŕŒŏŏǯ ʼnŒŕ ńő ňńŕŏŝ childhood education program, regardless of where that program is accessed. An Indigenous child is one who has (0r has been) identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. Data on Indigenous children by remoteness areas (major cities, regional, remote and very remote) is to be reported at the national level only, consistent 19

28 Performance indicator Proposed source of data and data specifications with reporting in the National Indigenous Reform Agreement Early Childhood Education and Care National Minimum Data Set definitions and collection guidelines Data development needs For disadvantaged children: currently National ECEC Collection uses SEIFA IRSD measure of disadvantage. May require further review in development of national definition(s). Disadvantaged and vulnerable children to be defined through Implementation Plans with a view to agreement on national definition over time. A definition of various disadvantaged and vulnerable groups is included in the Interpretation section to this Agreement. 3. The proportion of enrolled children, enrolled in the year before full-time school, in quality early childhood education program(s) available for 600 hours per year. This indicator will be disaggregated for: Indigenous children by state/ territory Indigenous children by remoteness areas (major cities, regional, remote and very remote) vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Source: For all children and Indigenous children: National Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Collection, A child is considered to be enrolled if they are present for at least one hour during the reference week, or have been absent in the reference week due to illness or holiday leave but are expected to return. Data on individual hours of enrolment in the reference week for each child is collected. Data on the number of weeks of service operation in the calendar year is also collected at the service level. Unique child counts rather than Data on the number of service operation weeks may be used to determine availability of an early childhood education program over the year. Additional data development may be required to ensure variable delivery patterns across the year are adequately represented. To collect and report national data on vulnerable and disadvantaged children requires development beyond the current measure of 20

29 Performance indicator Proposed source of data and data specifications ABS Estimated Resident Population and Experimental Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (latest) (using remoteness categories based on the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) where applicable). For disadvantaged children: currently National ECEC Collection uses Socio- Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) Index of Relative Socio Economic Disadvantage (IRSD) measure of disadvantage. May require further review in development of national definition(s) Early Childhood Education and Care National Minimum Data Set definitions and collection guidelines ƯňœŌŖŒŇň ŏňřňŏǯ ņœřőŗŗ ńŕň ŗŋň ŘőŌŗ Œʼn measure where available. Only 4 and 5 year old children are included in reporting on enrolments. Disadvantage is measured using the ABS SEIFA IRSD, with the lowest quintile being used as a proxy for the most disadvantaged. Some jurisdictions use other measures of disadvantage such as possession of a Health Care Card. Data development needs disadvantage using SEIFA IRSD, with jurisdictions to commit to data development as part of this Agreement, including agreement on: o national definition(s) o data sources o reporting (and by when). A particular focus of data development on vulnerable and disadvantaged children will be children with disability (in line with agreement under the National Disability Strategy to improve data). Disadvantaged and vulnerable children to be defined through Implementation Plans with a view to agreement on national definition over time. A definition of various disadvantaged and vulnerable groups is included in the Interpretation section to this Agreement. Pending further data development and national definition(s), in agreement with the Commonwealth, jurisdictions will be able to establish their own baseline and use data agreed in their 21

30 Performance indicator Proposed source of data and data specifications Implementation Plans, as well as national data, to monitor progress for vulnerable and disadvantaged children Early Childhood Education and Care National Minimum Data Set definitions and collection guidelines Data development needs Numerator: The number of children aged 4 and 5 years old as at 1 July of the collection year (for each selected population group) enrolled in the year before fulltime schooling in a quality early childhood education program(s) available for at least 600 hours in the collection year. Denominator: Number of 4 and 5 year old children as at 1 July of the collection year, who are enrolled in an early childhood education program in the year before full-time schooling. Computation: Numerator Denominator X 100 = Proportion Key definitions: Enrolment is defined in the Interpretation section of this Agreement a child is enrolled if ŋň/ŗŋň ŌŖ Œő ŗŋň ƯŕŒŏŏǯ ʼnŒŕ ńő ňńŕŏŝ childhood education program, 22

31 Performance indicator Proposed source of data and data specifications regardless of where that program is accessed. An Indigenous child is one who has (0r has been) identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. Data on Indigenous children by remoteness areas (major cities, regional, remote and very remote) is to be reported at the national level only, consistent with reporting in the National Indigenous Reform Agreement. For disadvantaged children: currently National ECEC Collection uses SEIFA IRSD measure of disadvantage. May require further review in development of national definition(s). Disadvantaged and vulnerable children to be defined through Implementation Plans with a view to agreement on national definition by over time. A definition of various disadvantaged and vulnerable groups is included in the Interpretation section to this Agreement Early Childhood Education and Care National Minimum Data Set definitions and collection guidelines Data development needs 4. The proportion of children This indicator will be disaggregated A child is considered to be attending To improve the collection and in the year before full-time for: a preschool (early childhood reporting of data on attendance, school who attend quality Indigenous children by education) program if they are states are to commit to reporting early childhood education state/territory present for at least one hour during on the proportion of children who 23

32 Performance indicator Proposed source of data and data specifications 2013 Early Childhood Education and Care National Minimum Data Set definitions and collection guidelines Data development needs program(s) available for 600 Indigenous children by the reference week. Data on are in the year before full-time hours per year. remoteness areas (major cities, individual hours of attendance for schooling (including Indigenous, regional, remote) each child are also collected. and vulnerable and disadvantaged Indigenous children by Data on individual hours of children), that are attending an state/territory enrolment in the reference week for early childhood education program vulnerable and disadvantaged each child is collected. for the number of hours specified to children. Data on the number of weeks of meet the benchmark of any revised Source: For all children and Indigenous children: National ECEC Collection (using remoteness categories based on the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) where applicable). service operation in the calendar year is also collected at the service level. Unique child counts rather than ƯňœŌŖŒŇň ŏňřňŏǯ ņœřőŗŗ ńŕň ŗŋň ŘőŌŗ Œʼn measure where available. Only 4 and 5 year old children are included in reporting on attendance. performance indicator requirements: o In each year of the Agreement, at least one hour per week in the reference week. Data on the number of service operation weeks may be used to determine availability of an early Disadvantage is measured using the For disadvantaged children: currently ABS SEIFA IRSD, with the lowest childhood education program over National ECEC Collection uses SEIFA quintile being used as a proxy for the the year. Additional data IRSD measure of disadvantage. May most disadvantaged. Some development may be required to require further review in development jurisdictions use other measures of ensure variable delivery patterns of national definition(s). disadvantage such as possession of a across the year are adequately Vulnerable children: to be defined Health Care Card. represented. through Implementation Plans with a view to agreement on National definition over time. A definition of various vulnerable groups is included in the Interpretation section to this Agreement. Pending further data development and national definition(s), in To collect and report national data on vulnerable and disadvantaged children requires development beyond the current measure of disadvantage using SEIFA IRSD, with jurisdictions to commit to data development as part of this Agreement, including agreement on: 24

33 Performance indicator Proposed source of data and data specifications agreement with the Commonwealth, jurisdictions will be able to establish their own baseline and use data agreed in their Implementation Plans, as well as national data, to monitor progress for vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Numerator: The number of children aged 4 and 5 years old as at 1 July of the collection year, (for each selected population group) who are attending a quality early childhood education program operating for at least 600 hours in the collection year, which is delivered by a a qualified early childhood teacher Early Childhood Education and Care National Minimum Data Set definitions and collection guidelines Data development needs o national definition(s) o data sources o reporting (and by when). A particular focus of data development on vulnerable and disadvantaged children will be children with disability (in line with agreement under the National Disability Strategy to improve data). Denominator: The number of children aged 4 and 5 years old as at 1 July of the collection year (for each selected population group), who are enrolled in a quality early childhood education program operating for at least 600 hours in the collection year, which is delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher. Computation: Numerator Denominator X 100 = Proportion 25

34 Performance indicator Proposed source of data and data specifications Key definitions: Attendance is defined in the Interpretation section to this Agreement it refers to the number of hours in the reference week that each child in the year before full-time schooling attends an early childhood education program Early Childhood Education and Care National Minimum Data Set definitions and collection guidelines Data development needs An Indigenous child is one who has (0r has been) identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. For disadvantaged children: currently National ECEC Collection uses SEIFA IRSD measure of disadvantage. May require further review in development of national definition(s). Disadvantaged and vulnerable children to be defined through Implementation Plans with a view to agreement on national definition by over time. A definition of various disadvantaged and vulnerable groups is included in the Interpretation section to this Agreement. 26

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